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Full text of "Speech of A. W. Haywood, Esq., of Counsel for the defense, in the trial of Dr. Eugene Grissom : Superintendent, North Carolina Insane Asylum, July 17, 1890; being the third speech delivered for the defense, the speech of Hon. Thomas C. Fuller being the first and that of Mr. T. P. Devereux being the second"

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JUIY 17, 1889 

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A. W. HAYWOOD, Esq., 







Superintendent North C**$3lina Insane Asylum, 


17, 1^9, 


Edwards & Broughton, Steam Printers and Binders. 






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A. W. Haywood, Esq., 




Superintendent North Carolina Insane Asylum, 

JULY 17, 1889, 





Edwards & Broughton, Steam Printers and Binders. 





A. W. HAYW^D, Esq., 


Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Board: 

In the order of argument which has been agreed upon by 
the counsel for the respondent, it now becomes my duty to 
address you. 

In doing so, I shall not attempt to cover this case fully, or 
go into it at great length, for it has been so fully discussed 
by the gentlemen on our side who have preceded me — Col. 
Fuller and Mr. Devereux — that to do so would be the work 
of supererogation. 

The case we are now engaged in trying is a new one in 
North Carolina ; it is a case of the first impression here ; no 
such case has ever been tried in the courts of this State. But 
while it is a novel case in North Carolina, it is by no means 
novel or unheard of in the other States of this Union. Such 
prosecutions as this are common and of frequent occurrence, 
and the fate of nearly every Superintendent who has held 
his office for as long a time as Dr. Grissom has (twenty-one 
years), or even half so long. The Superintendent of an 
insane asylum is an executive officer, charged with the 
maintenance of discipline, and as such, it becomes his duty, 
in a long period of years, to discharge many employees. In 
doing so, necessarily he makes many bitter enemies, who, thirst- 
ing for revenge, " bide their time." Sooner or later, some man, 

actuated by unholy ambition or a greed for office, will be 
found to take advantage of this discontent and desire for 
vengeance, and the result is, the Superintendent is dragged 
into court to answer charges similar, in all respects, to those 
on which Dr. Grissom is arraigned before the bar of this 
court to day. Experience has shown that nearly every 
Superintendent of an insane asylum must, sooner or later, 
pass through such an ordeal as this respondent is passing 
through now. 

This trial, gentlemen, is novel in another respect. The 
section of The Code (section 2249) which authorizes it pro- 
vides as follows, viz.: 

" He shall hold his office for six years from and after his 
appointment, unless sooner removed by said Board, who 
may, for infidelity to his trust, gross immorality, or incompe- 
tency to discharge the duties of his office, fully proved and 
declared, and the proof thereof recorded in the book of their 
proceedings, remove him and appoint another in his place." 

You will observe from the above that this Board has the 
authority to deprive Dr. Grissom of his property — his office. 
That an office is as much propert} 7 as a house is, or as land 
is, has been settled by the Supreme Court of North Carolina 
ever since the decision of that Court in the famous case of 
Hoke v. Henderson, 4 Devereux's Law, page 17. This proposi- 
tion will not be denied by the counsel on the other side. 

This section of The Code virtually, and in substance, gives 
you authority to convict Dr. Grissom of a crime, and in the 
charges preferred against him he is charged with the com- 
mission of two if not more crimes, viz.: adultery — which, by 
section 1041 of The' Code, is made a crime and punishable 
as such; and embezzlement — which, by section 1016 of The 
Code, is made a crime and punishable as such. I say these 
charges are preferred in substance, if not in technical lan- 
guage, against this respondent. 

This being so, the rules which obtain in the trial of a 
criminal case in a criminal court must obtain here; and 

you must be satisfied, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Dr. 
Grissom is guilty of these charges, before you can find him 
guilty. This is the rule in criminal courts, under the laws 
of the State, and having no rules laid down, in the statute 
under which we are proceeding, for your guidance, you must 
follow and be guided by the rules established in criminal 
courts. At the beginning of this trial, the other side con- 
tended that this was an investigation. But when the prose- 
cution had put in their evidence and rested their case, and 
we began to put in ours, they spoke of it as a trial, as an 
indictment, &c, and they invoked to their aid all the tech- 
nicalities known to the criminal lawyer, and all the rules 
governing trials upon indictments, in excluding what they 
could of our evidence. That it is a trial, and not an inves- 
tigation, being now admitted on both sides, then this trial 
must be conducted, as nearly as possible, in analogy to a 
trial upon an indictment ; and you must be satisfied, beyond 
a reasonable doubt, of the respondent's guilt, and you must 
give him the benefit of every doubt, before you can convict 
him. The law accords this much to the vilest criminal. 

Again, gentlemen, this trial is peculiar and unusual in 
another respect : 

Under this section of The Code, Dr. Grissom can be brought 
up before the bar of this court and made to answer for every 
act, every deed, and every word, yes, almost for every thought, 
of his life for the past twenty-one years. Have you thought 
of this, gentlemen? Has it occurred to you what latitude 
the statute gives you, when trying the Superintendent? 
Call the roll of the public officers of North Carolina, and 
tell me which of them can be subjected to such an ordeal as 
this respondent is subjected to here to-day. Can you force 
your Governor, or any of your judges or members of Con- 
gress or the Legislature, or any of your public officers or 
any private citizen, to submit himself to such a test? No. 
Think of it, [ say — compelled here to-day to answer before 
this tribunal for every deed, every act, every hasty, idle or 


angry word, done or spoken during the past twenty-one 
years! Gentlemen, how many of us could stand the ordeal? 
I ask the prosecutors in this case — I ask the counsel on the 
other side— I ask the Board — I ask every one in the sound of 
my voice, if they would not shrink from such a trial— such an 
ordeal, such a test? No such trial could take place in any other 
court in North Carolina. It comes nearer — I say it rever- 
ently — that last and awful trial, which Ave must all undergo 
in that final day, when we stand before that tribunal from 
which no appeal lies, than anything I can conceive of. 

And now, after months— even years — of secret, silent and 
tireless preparation, by the prosecutors, for this day and hour 
(for this unhallowed conspiracy was not hatched yesterday, 
and we only see now, in the light of day, the result of many a 
night's dark and secret plotting and planning to ruin this 
gray-haired old man), after scouring and raking, as with a 
fine-tooth comb, this State, from the mountains to the sea- 
shore—from the Virginia line to the South Carolina line — 
for some hasty word or act of this respondent, what charges, 
and what evidence to sustain them, do they submit to you 
hereto-day? They offer evidence which they claim tends 
to sustain three charges — immorality, cruelty and misappro- 
priating; all of which, when subjected to the test of reason 
and probability, simmer down to almost nothing, as I will 
show you. 

First, let's examine the charges and specifications, and 
see how many of them are eliminated from your considera- 
tion, by reason of no evidence whatever having been offered 
in their support. 

They are as follows : 

Under the charge of immorality — 

" Specification 4. — That, at some time during the year 1887, 
said Superintendent made improper and insulting advances, 
at and in said asylum, to Miss Delia F. Morris, an attendant 
of said institution." 

Not an iota of proof offered to sustain this charge. 

" Specification 5. That, at some time during the year 1887, 
the said Superintendent, at and in said asylum, made 
improper and insulting advances to Miss Rosa Bryan, an 
attendant of said institution." 

Not a particle of evidence to sustain this charge. 

Under the charge of cruelty — 

"Specification 5. That, at some time during the year 1887, 
it was made known to said Superintendent that one of the 
attendants had personally assaulted Mrs. Summerlin, a 
patient under his charge, for disobeying an order of said 
attendant, yet the said Superintendent kept in his service 
the said attendant." 

Not one word of evidence to sustain this charge. 

"Specification 6. That, at some time during the winter of 
1887, said Superintendent choked W. C. Pridgen, a blind 
patient under his charge, the same not being done in self- 

No evidence offered to sustain this charge. 

"Specification 13. That, at some time during 1887, the 
said Superintendent ordered an attendant to duck the Rev. 
Elisha R. Britton, a patient under his charge, in a bath-tub, 
without any just reason for so doing." 

This charge was abandoned in open court. 

Neither has a scintilla of evidence been offered, or any 
pretence been made, to support the charges as to Miss Davis, 
Mrs. Oglesby and Mrs. Perdue. 

So that eight of them are eliminated from your considera- 
tion, and, as to them, you will find a verdict of not guilty. 

The cases upon which any evidence of any nature what- 
ever has been offered, are as follows, then, viz.: Miss Burch, 
Mrs. Perkinson, Miss Edwards, Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Overman, 
Mrs. Whaley, Mrs. Howie, W. P. Upchurch, Mike Cosgrove> 
Henry Cone, J. D. L. Smith, Perry Boyd, Kennedy and Wil- 
liams, J. C. Hervey, Robert Barnett, Jonathan Bass, John 
Nutt, Zeb. Williams, Mr. Wortham, Mrs. Lowther and Mrs. 

Of this number, Miss Ella N. Edwards, the witness who 
seriously swears to you that the first order she received from 
Dr. Grissom, when she first came here, was to treat the 
patients like " wild cats" — Miss Edwards, the swift witness — 
the young woman who corresponds with Dr. Rogers, and 
calls him " sweetheart," and whom he visits, under an assumed 
name, at a dress-maker's house in this city — the young woman 
with whose person he is seen to take liberties — the modest, 
retiring, bashful, blushing young woman of eighteen, who 
walks through half a dozen lawyers to shake her fist in Dr. 
Grissom's face — is the sole and only witness, as to six of them. 
This fact alone eliminates these six cases from your consid- 
eration, for she is wholly unworthy of belief, and no credit 
can attach to her testimony, as I will show you further on. 
Besides, see how wild and improbable is the tale she swore 
to here! She swore that Dr. Grissom, as an act of cruelty, 
put pegs in the mouth of Miss Lutie Roberts. Both Dr. 
Grissom and Mr. Guthrie explain to you that this was merely 
a method of forced alimentation. She swore that Mrs. Howie 
told her that Dr. Grissom had kissed her, and at the same time 
stated that Mrs. Howie had no mind whatever. Mrs Howie's 
husband comes on the stand, as a witness in behalf of Dr. 
Grissom, and gives the lie to this testimony. That he put 
Mrs. Whaley and Mrs. Overman in a room and told them to 
fight, whereas Dr. Grissom explains and tells you that they 
never fought, and would not have been permitted to fight ; 
that they were only in the room together for a minute, while 
he and an attendant stood at the door, and that he merely 
made the statement to them, in the presence of each other 
and of the attendant, in order to frighten them, and show 
them the impropriety of their conduct. That he threw water 
in the face of Miss Mary Foy. Dr. Grissom admits that, on 
one occasion, he threw water in the face of Miss Foy for the 
purpose of making a mental impression on her ; and it is 
not denied that it is a proper mode of treatment. And as to 
Miss Nancy Flood, the idea that Dr. Grissom would knock 

down and choke and curse a woman is so preposterous as to 
merit only a smile of incredulity. 

Of another case — Perry Boyd — the only witness is T. J. 
Harris, whom we have proven to have the reputation of a 
common liar and a seducer of women — a man who was 
charged with stealing a patient's coat, and selling it to a 
negro ; a man who signed a " lie bill," acknowledging he 
had slandered Miss Nora Burch ; and a man who did not 
deny, on the stand here, having debauched a female attend- 
ant while he was an employee of this institution. 

And now, taking up the charges upon which any respect- 
able evidence is offered, in the order in which they appear 
in the charges filed, we first come to the charge of sexual 
intercourse with Miss Nora Burch. 

You will remember, gentlemen, the evidence as to this 
charge and specification is about as follows : 

Mr. W. R. King testifies that on one Saturday afternoon j 
last of July or first of August, he was standing at the corner 
of the stage, and he saw Miss Burch enter the patients' par- 
lor, and that she shut the door, leaving a crack in the door 
about as wide as his (King's) two fingers; that soon after- 
wards he saw Dr. Grissom enter the room and lock 
the door; that he knew he locked the door, because he 
heard the key turn ; that soon after Dr. Grissom entered 
the room he (King) — having remained on the stage four 
or five minutes — sneaked and crawled up to the door and 
looked through the key-hole: that he saw Dr. Grissom 
and Miss Burch in the act of sexual intercourse ; that Miss 
Burch's limbs were exposed ; that the foot of the bed was 
towards the door, and the head of it in an opposite direction; 
that the foot of the bed was just far enough removed from 
the door to permit of its being opened ; that they were lying 
lengthwise the bed. And he further states that at that time 
there was no one else on the floor except himself, Dr. Gris- 
som and Miss Burch, and that he was up there for the pur- 
pose of fixing the scenery ; that he had been sent there by 
Mrs. Lawrence, and that it was not his custom to come on 


that floor unless ordered to do so. He further testifies that 
Mrs. Lawrence never gave him an order, or sent him, to fix 
the scenery but once; and in this 1 respect Mrs. Lawrence con- 
firms his statement. 

The next witness, Emanuel Jones, testifies that he was up 
here on one Saturday evening, and that he went from the 
chapel, where he had concealed himself, to Mrs. Lawrence's 
bed-room door, and he, too, looked through the key-hole; 
and he describes the location of the bed as King did Both 
of them testified that they saw Dr. Grissom have sexual 
intercourse with Miss Burch ; that they saw the soles of their 
feet; that they were lying with their feet towards the door. 
He says further that King met him afterwards, and asked 
him what he was doing looking through that key-hole that 
Saturday afternoon, and when he told him what he was 
doing, King made no reply — only laughed. Now, I want 
to call your attention to that. King says there was nobody 
on the floor but himself, Dr. Grissom and Miss Burch. 
Jones swears he was there also; that King saw him looking 
through the key-hole. Afterwards King reads the newspa- 
pers. He sees the conflict between the testimony of Jones 
and that of his own. He is recalled, and comes back on 
the stand a week afterwards, and tries to make his testimony 
fit in with Jones' by taking back his statement that he was 
the only one on the floor, besides Dr. Grissom and Miss 
Burch, on that Saturdav afternoon in July or August This 
attempt to patch his testimony is suspicious. This man 
King, who sneaks and crawls — (W)hole-Peeping King — 
comes back and tries to make his testimony conform to 
the testimony of Jones. Why, gentlemen, do you not 
know that he did not see Jones on that occasion? He 
saw the conflict of testimony; he saw it would be fatal, 
and he tries to correct it by saying that he did ask Jones 
about what he was doing there that Saturday afternoon. 
But he did not go quite far enough — he forgot something; 
for when he was first on the stand he furthermore said that 


the only persons he told, or talked to, about this matter, 
were, first, Mr. Ball, Mr. Thompson next, and then Dr. Rog- 
ers. He forgot to mention Jones; but now he comes back 
and swears he told it also to Emanuel Jones. Now, as to 
Jones, I think it hardly worth while to discuss him. He is 
a proven liar. Any witness who will get up here and tell 
you, on his oath, that he happened to be down town, and a 
strange man met him, whom he did not know, and whom 
he had never seen before, and asked him to go to a certain 
office, and that he followed him in the dark and found him- 
self in Mr. Whitaker's office — don't you know he is lying? 
You know as well as I do that he knew what he was going 
up in that office for. When you get to the cross-examina- 
tion of Jones you will see that it is full of contradictions — 
that from beginning to end he is lying. Besides, he says on 
the stand : " My feelings towards Dr. Grissom are feelings of 

The other witness who testified to this matter is Mr. West, 
and his testimony amounts to nothing. He merely tells you 
that on two occasions he saw Dr. Grissom and Miss Burch 
enter the sitting-room; this amounts to nothing, for Dr. 
Grissom and other witnesses explain it. What is the evi- 
dence on the other side? Dr. Grissom tells you that on sev- 
eral occasions he met Miss Burch in the Matron's room, 
where she went to report to him as Superintendent, and also 
that vaginal examinations of Miss Burch were made by him 
in the Matron's bed-room, with the knowledge of the Ma- 
tron, and at which she, the Matron, was sometimes present. 
Dr. Grissom tells you that he was treating Miss Burch for 
troubles peculiar to women. He tells you that she was chief 
attendant, and that it was her duty to make reports to him, 
and that he frequently met her in this room for the purpose 
of getting her reports; that he was treating her for these 
troubles with the knowledge of Mrs. Lawrence, and with 
her approval, and Mrs. Lawrence verifies that statement, 
and says that frequently she was present. Mrs. Burch, Miss 


Nora's mother, testifies to the same effect; her sister also 
gives her testimony to the same effect. 

Now, take all these witnesses ; put their testimony against 
that of Peeping King and this lying negro boy, and are you 
not satisfied that King and Jones were bound to be lying 
when they testified as to what they saw that Saturday after- 
noon? They say they saw Dr. Grissom have sexual inter- 
course with Miss Nora Burch. King said he saw the door 
left open as wide as his two fingers when Miss Burch went 
in. Now, it is physically impossible for any one to stand 
upon that stage and tell whether that door is open or shut; 
it cannot be done. He says he heard the key turn in the 
lock. Now, that is another physical impossibility — he could 
not have heard it to save his life. By slamming the door 
you can hear it, but not by shutting the door, as ordinarily 
would be done. Shut in the usual way, you could not 
hear it at all; and as to hearing the key turn in the lock, it 
is an actual impossibility. You have proved this to be true 
by your own examination and test. 

Again, Mrs. Lawrence tells you that the bed never occu- 
pied the position which Jones and King said it occupied 
It never was placed in that room with its foot towards the 
door and its head in the position indicated by King and 
Jones, and in this she is sustained by the testimony of Miss 
McKoy. It was placed with its head towards the paitition 
wall which separates the bed-room from the parlor. Some- 
times, when the door was left open, the head was placed 
against the door, but this was at night, and in the summer- 
time; but in the day-time the bed did nut occupy this last- 
named position. 

She, Mrs. Lawrence, furthermore tells you, that when she 
left that room she darkened it to keep the flies out ; that she 
rarely ever left home on Saturday afternoons. Dr. Grissom 
tells you that this floor was full of attendants and servants 
on Saturday afternoons Both Jones and King fixed this 
occurrence on Saturday afternoon, in the month of July or 


August. At that time, it is testified to that it is the habit 
to have the floors full of servants, going to and fro, to get 
clothing, cleaning up, etc. Again — and her testimony settles 
this charge — Miss McKoy, the young lady whose testimony 
must have most favorably impressed you, says that she 
knows the statement of Mrs. Lawrence, in regard to being 
present on the stage with King, to be true ; that at the time 
Mrs. Lawrence gave that man King directions to fix the 
scenery, they immediately went on the stage together for 
that purpose ; and that she (Mrs Lawrence) came up on the 
stage with him, and she was there all the time with him, 
while he was fixing it. She directed this man King all the 
time he was on the stage ; and that it was in October, and 
not in July or August. Now, that young lady also said that 
she was at the head of the sewing department; she saw the 
stage from the sewing-room, and she saw Mrs. Lawrence with 
King, and this was in October. She knows it was in Octo- 
ber, for she did not come here until October. Mrs. Lawrence 
says she never gave King but one order to fix the scenery; 
it was fixed then and at that time ; and that she came up on 
the stage with King immediately on giving the order, and 
remained there with him until it was fixed. King says she 
never gave him but one order to fix the scenery. I think if 
Miss McKoy's testimony had been published in the papers 
before Mr. King was recalled to the stand, he would have 
changed his testimony more than he did; for I want you to 
bear it in mind, that Mrs. Lawrence is sustained in every 
particular by Miss Koy, both as to the location of that bed 
and as to being on the stage with King. Miss McKoy stands 
before you an unimpeached and unimpeachable witness. So 
we have Peeping King and a lying negro on one side — Dr. 
Grissom, Mrs. Lawrence and Miss McKoy on the other. Mr. 
Ashley said that by turning on full light in the patients' 
parlor and opening the door to the hall, he could see the 
shadows, the hall being darker than the parlor, and thereby 
could tell whether the door was open or not. But King said 


nothing about shadows. King said he saw the door left 
open and then shut. He does not tell you that he knew the 
door was open by reason of shadows— does not claim that — 
but says he saw it open as wide as his two fingers. Now, he 
never saw that door open, nor did he hear the key turn in 
the lock ; that is a physical impossibility. He furthermore 
tells you that this bed was standing with iis foot to the door. 
The other witnesses tell you that this bed remained in the 
position Mrs. Lawrence describes. Mrs. Lawrence says the 
bed was the one she slept on ; had a feather bed on it, and 
had it been disturbed she would have known it ; and that it 
was not disturbed or mashed down. Can it be. that with 
such evidence on one side, and the character of the evidence 
we offer on the other, you can find a verdict of guilty on a 
charge that is intended to disgrace and ruin this man, and 
cast a stigma on his wife and sons and daughters? Can it 
be possible that you can be instrumental in the disgrace of 
a man so eminent, exalted and distinguished in his profes- 
sion upon such testimony as the prosecution offers you on 
this charge? Again, this man King, who is the main wit- 
ness — what has he done? Before he came on this stand he 
signed a statement in writing. I want to call you gentle- 
men's attention to that book containing this statement. Mr. 
Whitaker asked Mr. King this question: " Was all that on 
the first page written in that book when you signed it ? " He 
replied : " Some of it " " I have been here three and a half 
years; was there, I think, but I do not remember anything 
about immorality." Now, I am going to ask you to examine 
this book, and see if it does not bear intrinsic evidence that 
this man signed this book just as it now is. It is evident, 
from the book itself — not an erasure or interlineation — that 
he did. This man, who acknowledges that he goes around 
crawling and sneaking and looking through key-holes, went 
to Dr. Grissom's office about noon, on Friday preceding this 
trial, and left without one word of dispute between Dr. Gris- 
som and himself, parted in the best of feeling, and he then 



made this statement, contained in this book, to Dr. Grissom. 
He left the room — not one word of an unpleasant nature had 
occurred ; he goes back there again on Friday night and 
voluntarily makes the same statement. He tells you that 
Robert Grissom was reducing his statement to writing as he 
made it. As soon as it was written the book was read to 
him; then it was handed to him; he turned the pages over 
slowly, one b} T one, calmly, and then he signed the state- 
ment. Now, remember, this was all before any fuss had 
occurred between Dr. Grissom and himself; for when he 
went out of that room he went (as far as we can tell) in per- 
fect friendship. King writes a good hand ; he can read 
writing After reading, page by page, he signed it; and he 
states in there that he had never seen " any immorality on the 
part of Dr. Grissom." He leaves the office ; during that night 
some unknown influences seem to be brought to bear upon 
him, some change comes over him ; and the next morning 
he goes to see Dr. Grissom, and, in an angry tone and bully- 
ing manner, says : " I want you to take that part off about 
Kaylor." Note, gentlemen, he does not even then ask to 
retract. the immoralit}^ part. Dr. Grissom says : " Why do you 
ask it ? " and King replies : " Because Kaylor has never done 
me any harm, and besides, I do not want you to ever talk to 
me any more about this thing." His manner was so insult- 
ing, that Dr. Grissom says : "Do you come here to bully me ? 
If you do, I will kill you." And King replied : " Shoot on ; I 
am as good a man as you are." Now, this does not take 
place until the morning after King had made his statement 
in writing and signed it. It is no use to claim that this wit- 
ness was intimidated by Dr. Grissom into signing this paper, 
for no difficulty had occurred between them up to the time 
of signing the book, and he is not a man who can be intim- 
idated. On the stand here he was very defiant and acted 
the bully, as you saw. 

Among all the charges brought against Dr. Grissom, the 
most serious one is this of sexual intercourse with Miss Nora 


Burch, a lady who proved a most excellent character here 
by all her neighbors, but who is, unfortunately, now insane. 
Had not that poor girl, Nora Burch, been stricken by God 
and her lips sealed by silence, she would be here to-day to 
answer these slanders of King and Jones. It is passing 
strange that it is an insane woman -who has been selected as 
the object of slander, out of all the female attendants who 
have been here. Her lips are sealed by the curse of God, 
as if with the seal of death ; that is why she cannot be here 
at this time. I would that she were here to answer to the 
vile, dirty and slanderous testimon}^ of Plummer King and 
Emanuel Jones. I want you to note that King and Jones 
have selected her for their calumny and malice. They feel 
that they can slander her with impunity ; she has lost her 
reason and cannot deny. Would to God she could ! 
And now I will proceed to the next charge — 
" That at some time during the spring of 1887, said Super- 
intendent, at and in said asylum and elsewhere, made 
immoral and lecherous proposals and advances to Mrs. Lillie 
B. Perkinson, the wife of an employee of said institution." 

Now, gentlemen, it seems to me that the evidence of this 
lady is of such a character as to convince you that she is 
not telling the truth. She tells you that on four or five 
separate occasions, covering a long period of time, Dr. Gris- 
som made indecent proposals to her, and that she imme- 
diately reported them to her husband. She tells you further 
that her husband continued to be in the employment of Dr. 
Grissorn for over a year afterwards; that she continued to 
solicit employment for him, and time and time again to ask 
favors for him of Dr. Grissorn ; that after her husband left 
the asylum, she came and begged Dr. Grissorn to get him a 
place with Dr. Skinner. Now, gentlemen, do you not know 
that these things could never have taken place, and that if 
they had, her husband would not have remained in Dr. 
Grissom's employment? You know there is no man who 
would submit to anything of the sort. You know if this 


lady had told her husband of these indignities which she 
said Dr. Grissom had offered her, he would have left his 
employment, and if he had one drop of Anglo-Saxon blood 
in his veins he would have called Dr. Grissom to an account ; 
but not one word did he say upon that subject; no com- 
plaint was ever made by him to anybody of Dr. Grissom's 
conduct. Why did they not put him on the stand and let 
him verify his wife's statement? Why did he not come and 
say, "As soon as I heard it I became angry, and went to Dr. 
Grissom and told him I would hold him to account"? Why, 
gentlemen, it is beyond belief, that this lady could have been 
telling the truth. I do not believe that man lives in North 
Carolina who would submit to being told by his wife of such 
things as these, and then go and seek employment from the 
man who had wronged him — and seek it time and time 
again. It is not true; it is not reasonable. Besides, she told 
you here on the stand that she was actuated by revenge and 
that she thought her day for getting even had come. Again, 
we had evidence attacking her character, but you would not 
admit it. 

If there is any evidence more incredible than that of 
Mrs. Perkinson, it is that of Miss Edwards. There is some- 
thing very peculiar about Miss Edwards' testimony. In the 
first place, she knows more than any other witness who has 
testified in this case. Miss Edwards knew everything that 
was going on in the institution, whether in her ward or in 
any other ward, and all about it If you will take Dr. 
Rogers' letter to " Dear May," and compare it with Miss 
Edwards' testimony, you will see that she is familiar with 
the contents of that letter all the way through. It is almost 
certain that she had received a letter similar to the one 
"Dear May" received. If you, gentlemen, will take that let- 
ter and Miss Edwards' testimony and compare them, you • 
will see that she has " plumbed the line," and, after going 
on and reading that letter carefully, you will find that she 
has sworn to the same things that Dr. Rogers' letter to 



"Dear May" suggested she should swear to. Again, her 
conduct on the stand was such as not to leave the im- 
pression that she was " modest and retiring." She flaunted 
herself into the room, on a hot July day, adorned with 
jewelry, a silk cloak and a silk dress, and then rushed 
through Dr. Grissom's half-dozen lawyers, and shook her fist 
in his face. She tells you, on her oath, that she is actuated 
by revenge, as does Mrs. Perkinson ; they both tell you it is 
for the purpose of " getting even with Dr. Grissom " that they 
are here. If I ever saw a female witness on the stand, in 
any court, who was bold and brazen, and whose conduct 
betokened less of a lady, it was Miss Edwards. Never in my 
life before — never in my experience as a lawyer — have I 
seen a female witness walk through a group of half-dozen 
lawyers to shake her fist in the face of the respondent. I 
am not accustomed to this type of a modest, virtuous girl. 
I do not suppose it ever occurred before in any court in this 
State, yet she is supposed to be a modest, innocent girl, who 
has been wronged and injured by the advances of this 
respondent. Do you believe it ? 

Again, did you notice, when Col. Fuller, in his cross-exam- 
ination of Miss Edwards, asked her how she directed her 
letters to Dr. Rogers, how she showed signs of guilty terror? 
Now, you will remember that in the "Dear May" letter she 
is instructed how to begin and how to end ; what to say, and 
how to send the letters, to whose care, etc. Dr. Rogers gives her 
minute directions about the whole matter, and puts words 
in her mouth to say. When Col. Fuller asked Ella N. 
Edwards how she began her letters to Dr. Rogers, and how 
she signed them, she turned as white as a sheet, hesitated, 
and seemed not to know what to say. I know she thought 
that Col. Fuller knew about that letter of instruction, which 
we feel certain Dr. Rogers sent her. She hesitated, she 
"twisted and she turned, and finally said: "Dr. Rogers." 
Col. Fuller said : "I do not mean on the outside of the let- 


ter." Then she hesitated and stammered, and turned white 
and then red, and answered : " That is none of your busi- 
ness." In a matter of this sort, all these little things tell; 
they are the links that make the chain. 

You were told at the beginning of this trial that we ex- 
pected to show that this testimony was manufactured and 
obtained by unlawful means. We are now taking up all 
these little facts and putting them together; and it goes to 
show what we have told you was true; it goes to show a con- 
spiracy — manufactured testimony — and that Miss Edwards 
had received a letter similar to the "Dear May" letter, and 
it was that letter which made her come here and testify. 
Now, another reason why her evidence can be given no cre- 
dence is this: She confesses to you, herself, that Dr. Rogers 
visited her, under an assumed name, at the house of a dress- 
maker in this city; and it has been proven by witnesses that 
she was seen with Dr. Rogers' arm around her; that she 
tried to "palm him off" for a Mr. Edwards, her cousin. She 
registered here at a hotel on this occasion, when she came 
here as a witness, and gave a false place of residence. Her 
whole conduct has been that of concealment, secrecy and 
fraud. It is in evidence also that on one occasion a telegram 
was received for her at a late hour of the night — about mid- 
night; that Dr. Grissom directed the telegram to be sent to 
her by the night attendant. Instead of that being done, 
Dr. Rogers took that telegram, himself, to her in her bed- 
room, in the dead hour of the night. She tells you that, 
instead of having Dr. Fuller or Dr. Grissom to attend her, 
she selected Dr. Rogers, an unmarried man, as her physi- 
cian, and a visitor in her room. All this is her own testi- 
mony. Taking it all together, it must be very obvious to 
you, gentlemen, that her testimony is not to be relied on, 
and is not worthy of credit in any prosecution to which her 
friend Dr. Rogers is a party. 

Again, she says she told Dr. Grissom, when she left here 
on a visit to see her sick mother, that she never intended to 


return; but the Rev. Mr. Whitaker, on his examination, 
testifies to you that he had a conversation with her on the 
train when she was on her way to her mother's house, and 
she told him she had no fault to find with the Asylum; that 
Dr. Grissom was so kind, and, in short, everything he ought 
to be; that she was going to return, whether her mother 
lived or died, &c. Now, gentlemen, what reliance can be 
put in such testimony as this of Miss Edwards? 

Now as to — 

Charge 2 — " That Dr. Eugene Grissom, while Superintend- 
ent of said asylum, has been guilty of mismanagement of, 
and cruelty to, patients under his charge, and of perpetrat- 
ing indignities upon them." 

I wish, under this head, to submit for your consideration 
a few remarks, and to read you some authorities on the 

From the character of the evidence introduced by the 
prosecution, and from the parade which has been made over 
the bed-strap, which has been produced before you, it would 
seem that counsel on the other side are trying to make it 
appear to you that strapping is, in itself, cruel ; that it is a 
cruel and unusual mode of treatment, and the mere fact 
that this apparatus (bed-strap), which has been shown you, 
was and is used in this institution, is evidence of cruelty on 
the part of Dr. Grissom. Now, if I can satisfy you that such 
is not the case, then most of the prosecutors' case falls to the 
ground. Instead of these methods of treatment being cruel, 
they are humane and for the best interests of the insane, and 
are in use in most of the leading asylums of the country. Dr. 
Grissom has, for many years, openly and publicly, with 
voice and pen, advocated " Mechanical Protection " for the 
violent insane, and at the meeting of the " Association of 
Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane," 
held at St. Louis, Mo., he read an article on the subject, 
which was received by the said association with great 


approval and endorsed by it. I will read you some portions 
of this article : 

" The insane man, with feelings or inclination, disordered 
by diseases, with excess of irritability, with loss of will- 
power adequately to control his appetite, tossed hither and 
thither by his emotions and passions (the offspring of a dis- 
eased brain), sometimes without memory, always without 
intelligent judgment, perhaps rent and torn by epileptic 
shocks or driven to suicide or homicide, needs, above all 
things, protection from himself. He needs, at the hands of 
his fellow-man, rest and comfort, aid and protection against 
his changed self. A proposition so self-evident need not 
detain us. It is undisputed. Such a thing as absolute non- 
restraint of the insane is utterly unknown, except, perhaps, 
among the Malays, where mutual slaughter finally effects 

" With equal propriety, when Dr. Sayre wraps a victim of 
Pott's disease in a plaster jacket, or fits a leg in complicated 
but ingenious apparatus, to prevent injury by motion or 
while in sleep, to cure deformity, may be accused of cruel 
and inhuman restraint. The patient, under a capital surgi- 
cal operation, is held, to prevent him from injuring himself 
amid uncontrollable pain, and sometimes he is bound to the 
operating table. Yet, does not the very hand of humanity 
hold him most securely ? Necessary restraint is as truly a 
blessing to him, who would otherwise dash out his brains, 
as the crutch is to the shrunken limb or the cane to the 
wearied frame. If, as we have seen, the sane must neces- 
sarily control, or, if you please, restrain the insane, as the 
very erection of hospitals provides for, the true question for 
the medical mind is, how shall it be best accomplished when 
required ? We have to choose between the hypnotic power 
of drugs, affording the ' chemical restraint of the brain cell,' 
or the manual restraint of the strong arms of attendants, or 
that of solitary imprisonment in seclusion, as advocated and 


employed by our English brethren, or the mechanical 
restraint of a strap, restraining the patient to a chair, a cam- 
isole or a muff or the covered bed. There are patients who 
maltreat others ; who will cut or bruise or otherwise injure 
themselves ; who would tear off their clothing ; who would 
wear themselves to death by maniacal exhaustion, with 
ceaseless muscular struggles ; who would devour abomina- 
tions; outrage the decencies and sensibilities remaining to 
their fellow-patients ; make day and night a perpetual tor- 
ment to themselves and all within their reach ; retarding 
their own and the cure of others and hopelessly prolonging 
their sufferings. Which of the above means of restraint 
shall we employ ? 

" Mechanical restraint is far better, we believe, in many 
cases : 

" 1. Because of the absence of the personal antagonism 
between the attendant and the patient, sure to arouse evil 
passions, stirring to excitement, and followed by propor- 
tionate depression. 

" 2. Because of the certainty and uniformity of its action, 
unaffected by momentary strength or weakness, by sudden 
access of feeling or the impatient weariness of fatigue. 

" 3. Because it does not excite the passions of the patient 
by the mere sight of disturbance in the overwrought and 
worn-out attendant. 

"4. Because, when recognized as irresistible, it may be 
said to establish an environment, which the patient accepts, 
as there is no hope of suddenly overcoming it. 

" 6. Because it is better than the physical exhaustion of the 
patient, from- contests with attendants, which may be long- 
continued and serious, even fatal, not infrequently, when 
the irritability of the patient is great, while his vitality is 
really low. 

" 7. Because it may be applied uniformly at night, when 
necessary, to the suicidal, who could not otherwise be safely 
cared for, unless at enormous expense, and with the disad- 


vantage of the attendants keeping the patient awake by their 

" 8. Because, in a mild form, it may be applied to the homi- 
cidal during the day, and still allow him out-door air and 
exercise with safety. 

" 9. Because it may save the cases of violent, acute mania, 
of whose prognosis we are most hopeful, if no traumatic 
trouble happens to break down the general vigor of the sys- 
tem. Really, when one considers the history of the pro- 
vision for the insane, during the past hundred }^ears, both 
in Europe and in our own country, and reflects that our 
opponents' claim is only this, that they, from being the rep- 
resentatives of every form of mechanical restraint, have only 
substituted that of human hands and retained seclusion, 
there w T ould seem but little to discuss. One feels like saying, 
with Isaac of old, ' the voice is the voice of Jacob, but the 
hands are the hands of Esau.' 

" 10. Because it is far better for female patients, especially 
the epileptic and hysterical, than the sight of long-continued 
struggles with attendants. On the other hand, if manual 
restraint is only used out of sight, then seclusion is added 
with its evils." 

Again, witness the following from the thirty-seventh report 
of the Royal Asylum at Perth for 1864 : 

" Notwithstanding every care taken to prevent their occur- 
rence, many unforeseen assaults have been committed dur- 
ing the year — not unfrequently on the attendants placed in 
special charge of dangerous patients. We may add, by the 
way, that such accidents would scarcely have occurred under 
the old regime of manual restraint, which, with all its faults, 
had its advantages, and which undoubtedly saved, in more 
than one form, many lives that are now sacrificed to the 
popular creed. ' non-restraint,' absurdly so-called. The fact 
cannot be doubted that reaction against the errors and ab- 
surdities of the 'absolute non-restraint' system is setting in 


strongly. Asylum physicians find that mechanical restraint 
is the most humane mode of treating certain exceptional 
phases of insanity — the only mode, apparently, of avoiding 
certain catastrophes now of common occurrence; and they 
are gradually readopting the mildest forms thereof compati- 
ble with the safety or security of their patients. But with 
the present strong public feelings in favor of unqualified 
non-restraint-— the total abolition or absence of restraint in 
or under all its forms or names — a feeling which is not 
founded on experience, but is merely the fruit of the pseudo- 
philantropic tendencies of the age— it is exceptional to find 
men with the moral courage necessary to the confession that 
their experience, if not belief, is antagonistic to the favored 
creed or delusion of the time." 

And now listen at this, from the forty-fourth report of the 
Belfast Hospital for the Insane, Dr. Robert Stewart, Governor 
(appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland) : 

" Here it may be appropriately stated that, during the 
past year the resident physician escaped, almost by a mir- 
acle, a sudden and violent termination of his life, having been 
attacked on two separate occasions by two male homicidal in- 
mates — in the first instance by an attempt at strangulation, 
and in the second by a severe stab in the face, close t.o the eye, 
with a sharpened knitting-needle, which, had it entered it, 
would most likely have been fatal. On two occasions after- 
wards, the same patients who stabbed the resident physician, 
similarly injured two of the male attendants — one on the 
face also, the eye having been wounded. 

" It is only a few months since one of the Commissioners 
of Lunacy in England met with an untimely death. He 
was officially visiting a hospital, and passing through a 
ward (where it was evident that the risk was taken in order 
to display non-seclusion and non-restraint), when, by the 
side of the medical superintendent, he was struck in the 


temple with a sharpened piece of iron by one of the chronic 
patients, and died a day or two after." 

Again, from the twenty-first annual report of the Wor- 
cester (England) Asylum : 

" During the past year a suicidal wave has been percepti- 
ble in the persons under our care. Several, during the day, 
made determined efforts upon their lives while in the pres- 
ence of their guardians. These were all detected, and 
resulted, fortunately, in no permanent injury. Two, how- 
ever, of this class, were unfortunately allowed by their 
attendants to separate themselves from the ever-present su- 
pervision essential to their safety, and, in consequence, were 
enabled to effect their purpose." 

Dr. Grissom then goes on to say : 

" It may not be improper, however, to give some instances 
from the case books of the North Carolina Asylum for the 
Insane, of which I have charge, which will illustrate our 
clinical practice in regard to the several modes of protective 

restraint : 

" < I. H. Epiledic Mania.— Has paroxysms of violent ex- 
citement, during which he imagines that himself and others 
are engaged in building, or tearing down log houses, or other 
work requiring great force. He is proud of his strength, 
and, to use his expression, "likes to fout for the fun of the 
thing." He is restrained to prevent violence to himself and 


•" D. B. Chronic Mania—Was an open masturbator At 
times, excited and noisy at night, and practiced the habit in 
disgusting excess when he has the free use of his hands. It 
was directed that they be restrained. In the opinion of the 
writer, restraint has been of much service in his treatment. 

"'V. V. Chronic Mania.— A distrustful, suspicious man, 
who will quietly fix his eyes on some particular person, and, 
without notice of his intention, seize his victim by the throat 
in the most determined manner. 


" ' W. P. R. Chronic Mania. — Has paroxysms, during which 
he will swallow anything practicable. On one occasion 
swallowed a piece of tin one inch square. 

"' W. G. A. Melancholia. — Refuses any request whatever. 
With much persuasion and some force he eats enough to 
sustain life. Will not permit an action of the bowels if he 
can prevent it. To prevent urination he places a ligature 
around the penis. To correct this he is restrained at night 
and watched in the day. 

'"W. H. H. Melancholia. — Strong suicidal tendencies. 
Has attempted to kill himself on several occasions. From 
his deportment and the character of his delusions, he would 
probably succeed, if not prevented by restraint at night and 
being watched during the day. 

"'W. G. Chronic Mania. — An open, unblushing mastur- 
bator; violent to self and others. Consider restraint of 
hands and out-door freedom better treatment than seclusion. 

"'C. L. Mania. — Subject to paroxysms of excitement, 
during which she will use any movable thing as a weapon 
on selected victims, which she has secreted while in a state 
of quiet.' " 

Again, from an English superintendent of insane asylums : 

" But I am sadly perplexed when there comes, through 
precisely the same channels, the hope-inspiring and the 
blood-stained streams, almost mingling together the follow- 
ing facts : 

"1. That within a few months an attendant was killed by 
a lunatic in Leicester Asylum. 

" 2. That one lunatic killed another in Durham County 

" 3. That a lunatic was killed in Greenock Poor-House 
Asylum, and that an attendant was accused of killing him ; 
and — 

" 4. That a lunatic was reported to have had his ribs frac- 
tured, etc., by an attendant in Northwoods Asylum, both 
being intoxicated at the time, the assailant being subse- 


quently tried and sentenced in the penalty of a fine of £ 5 
and two months' imprisonment. 

" Now, my object is not to attribute the slightest degree 
of culpability, malpractice or misadventure to any one con- 
nected with the above deplorable accidents, but simply to 
show that there must have been struggle, violence, fury, 
ferocity previous to the death-blow. Nor in adverting to one 
hundred and sixty instances of accidents, including several 
suicides, stated to have occurred within the safe and sacred 
precincts of asylums in Scotland, in 1874-1875, in the 
annual report of the Commissioners, which is the only 
record of such important data that we know of, would we 
breathe or harbor the suspicion that there was either negli- 
gence or carelessness or inadventure, or the absence of such 
precaution as might have prevented fractures and blows and 
burns, as our only wish is to direct attention to the sad evi- 
dence afforded that 'the millennium has not yet arrived in 
Bedlam.' " 

Nowhere, however, do we find more happy expression on 
this point than in the report of Dr. Curwin for 1876 : 

'• Experience and knowledge of the habits and feelings of 
those with whom they are daily brought into contact have 
led the physicians of the hospitals for the insane in this 
country to prefer the use of such forms of mechanical 
restraint to the manual force of four or six persons ; for in 
this latter case there is always sure to be a struggle, and 
neither the patience of Job, nor the meekness of Moses, nor 
the love of John are inherent qualities in those who must 
perform such offices, nor it must be frankly stated, if a judg- 
ment can be formed from the tone of their writings, in those 
who so urgently demand the abolition of ail mechanical 

"It is not reasonable to believe — and as a proof of the state- 
ment, let any one try it in his own person — that an excited, 
restless person, suffering from acute maniacal excitement, 
will be as likely to sleep calmly and refreshingly with one 


person holding each arm, and one holding each leg, and a 
fifth holding the head, when the disposition, so common when 
that number of persons are together, to express freely their 
opinion on various subjects, as when the same patient is laid 
on the bed and so fastened as to be able to turn from side to 
side, but not to rise from the horizontal position, a sleeping 
potion administered and everything removed which can 
attract attention or cause noise and confusion. Besides, any 
one who has witnessed the trial of the two methods must 
admit that the latter is infinitely preferable on every account, 
not only as far less likely to cause bruises, sprains or injuries 
to the patient, but also as much less irritating to the feelings 
and passions, and the cause of fewer angry words " 

Again : 

" It will be remembered by those who were present at the 
Nashville meeting in 1874, that Vice-President Walker, then 
presiding, at the close of the discussion on this topic, made 
the following important declaration from his own personal 

"' I was gratified when visiting the institutions in Eng- 
land — the few I did visit — to find that almost universally, 
certainly in four-fifths of the cases, the superintendents 
expressed themselves in favor of mechanical restraint, and, 
singularly enough, the superintendents lay the blame of non- 
restraint upon the Commissioners in Lunacy, and the Com- 
missioners in Lunacy throw it back upon the superinten- 
dents. They say the superintendents are emulous, one of 
another, to report the smallest number of restraints during 
the year. Certainly, in my presence, and that of an Ameri- 
can medical friend accompanying me, almost without excep- 
tion, they expressed their preference for mechanical restraint, 
and hoped they would have it established there. From an 
experience of over twenty years, and from careful, and I 
hope by no means superficial study of this question, I firmly 
believe that in the future the practice of our best American 
asylums now will become the governing rules of Christen- 

mm mm 0" 


When Dr. Grissom had finished reading his article to the 
Association of Superintendents at St. Louis assembled, sev- 
eral of them submitted remarks of approval and approba- 
tion upon it, a few of which I now propose to read you : 

By Dr. Walker : " In regard to the paper of Dr. Grissom, 

I am free to say I approve of it. It was distinctly mod- 
erate, and written in the most conclusive form." 

Remarks by Dr. Curwen : " I do not know that I have 
anything special to say. I have said all I desired to say in 
my last annual report, and I do not know that I can add to 
that or express it better than I did. 

" There seems to be a misconception on one point. These 
cases requiring restraint are like an epidemic; they come 
periodically ; month after month may roll around, and few, 
if any cases, will be found requiring any restraint whatever, 
and then there will be a period when quite a number will 
need to be restrained, to prevent injury to themselves or 
others, or extreme destruction of clothing or furniture. That 
has been my experience, and I suppose others have had 
similar experience. In the discussions on this subject, this 
fact seems to have been entirely overlooked." 

Dr. Black, of Virginia, said : " I heartily agree with the 
sentiment expressed in the paper read by Dr. Grissom and 
the remarks made by Dr. Gray. I should regard the use of 
restraint in the same light that I would that of medicine or 
anything else that would secure control and save my patients 
from danger. I have adopted this plan, and expect to con- 
tinue it until I find some good reasons for changing it." 

Dr. Kenan, from Georgia, said : " It is useless to occupy 
the time of this Association, but I must say, in relation to 
mechanical restraint, that we use it whenever we deem it 
necessary. I do not think we have enough of it in our insti- 
tution, or that it has arrived at that perfection which I hope 
to see. I am but a novice in the treatment of insanity, but 
think I can convince any gentleman here, without much 


oratory, that it would not do for us to do away with 

Dr Strong, of Ohio : "This subject of restraint has been 
so thoroughly and exhaustively discussed, that I can add 
nothing. In fact, as presented here, 1 feel there is but one 
side to the question. I most cordially and emphatically 
endorse the views of Dr. Grissom on that subject." 

Dr. Boughton, of Wisconsin : " I am quite sure there is 
no division of opinion among us in regard to mechanical 

Dr. Bartlett, Minnesota: " I do not know as I am pre- 
pared to add very much to the arguments that have been 
presented in this paper by Dr. Grissom. I was educated in 
a hospital where mechanical restraint was used, and I still 
use it— always, I think, with discretion, as from time to time 
I have estimated the per centage, I have always found it 
less than two per cent., and with a number of patients ex- 
ceeding five hundred." 

Dr. Stevens, Missouri: "I do not think of anything addi- 
tional, bearing, directly upon the question, but I wish it 
understood that I am decidedly in favor of mechanical 
restraint, as the matter seems to be understood by this body." 

Dr. Hughes, Missouri: "I am very much in accord with 
the tenor of Dr. Grissom's excellent paper. His title is well 
chosen. In some cases the problem of determining what 
kind of restraint should be. employed is better solved by 
selecting protective mechanical, in preference to irritative 
physical restraint. I have had cases that I preferred to 
restrain by these safe, silent and passive appliances than to 
confine them to the tender mercies of over-taxed and irrita- 
ble attendants." 

Dr. Baudny, Missouri : " I deem it proper to occupy the 
time of this association but a few moments. So much has 
been said on the subject under discussion that there remains 
but very little to be added. In the year 1884, after having 
carefully perused Connolly's work, I became converted to his 


ideas, and caused every means of mechanical restraint in 
the asylum with which I am connected to be destroyed. A 
very short time elapsed, when several catastrophes occurred, 
which owed their origin to this cause. Not many more 
weeks passed, when I made a most narrow escape from 
serious injury by a blow inflicted on me by a maniac, which 
served as an argumentum ad hominem to make me reconsider 
my determination. One or two cases of suicide occurred. 
In every case no restraint was used. Since that time I have 
caused mechanical restraint to be applied in every case in 
which previous attempts at self-destruction had been made — 
that is to say, I have placed them in the muff until I was 
satisfied there was no further danger. Of two evils, it is 
better to choose the lesser; therefore, I consider it as neces- 
sary to use mechanical means of restraint as to employ 
medicinal measures. This applies to cases of melancholia 
as well as to those of masturbation, nymphomania, etc. My 
experience with this method of treatment has been such as 
to cause me to consider restraint as an indispensable means 
in the therapeutics of insanity — one which I should be 
unwilling to abandon. 

" I may also say that, in conversation with patients who 
have recovered under treatment, I have never heard one 
complain of the use of mechanical restraint; on the other 
hand, they frequently complain of the attendants. None of 
them have ever asked that mechanical restraint be abolished 
from the asylum; on the contrary, there are certain patients 
who fear the coming on of attacks of violence, and ask to 
have restraint applied before the outbreak. 

"Then, again, it seems to me that the use of mechanical 
restraint is much better than personal control, exercised by 
the hands of attendants. In cases of acute mania, it seems 
to me that the attempt to keep a patient quiet by the com- 
bined strength of three or four persons must be fraught with 
dangers. Indeed, I am satisfied that one death which I wit- 
nessed was caused by the attempt of a patient to free him- 


self from the hands of the attendants who were trying to 
control him. I believe now that if the camisole had been 
placed upon him, instead of the hands of the nurses, 
he would be living to-day. The only forms of mechan- 
ical restraint ever in use in St. Vincent's Institution are 
the camisole, muff and anklet. One of the great advan- 
tages of the use of these appliances is, that patients can 
safely walk about the grounds, enjo} 7 the fresh air and sun- 
light, and avoid the evils of close confinement. 

" After long reflection on the entire subject, and having 
been once on the other side of the question, I must say that 
experience has taught me that we cannot dispense with me- 
chanical restraint, and that the real question at issue is not 
as to their being absolutely essential, but that abuse of this 
method of treatment is to be guarded against " 

Dr. Hinde, Missouri: "The time of the Association has 
been well occupied by members from Missouri, and yet, in 
the absence of our Superintendent, and seeing also that Dr. 
Catlett is absent from the hall, it is proper for me to state 
that the opinions and practice of our State Asylum at Fulton 
are entirely in accord with the able paper read by Dr. Gris- 
som, and the views so forcibly expressed by Dr. Gray." 

Dr. Fuller, Nebraska : " The limited experience which I 
have had in the care and treatment of the insane prohibits 
my taking any active part in the discussion of the subject in 
question. I wish, however, to give expression to the unqual- 
ified pleasure with which I listened to Dr. Grissom's article — 
a pleasure due not less to its rare literary merit than to the 
fact that the views expressed harmonized with my own." 

Dr. Buck, Ontario : " I have no desire to occupy the time 
of this meeting with any remarks of mine upon this subject, 
for I could add nothing to what has been already so fully 
and well said by Dr. Grissom in his able paper, and by those 
who have preceded me in the discussion of it." 


Now let me call your attention to what some eminent 
authors, who are not connected with insane asylums, have 
to say on this subject. 

I first read from "Spitka's Manual of Insanity" : 

''On the other hand, it must be admitted that the agita- 
tion against restraint has overstepped the bounds of legiti- 
mate criticism and reform. That there are some subjects 
who require restraint — who are better off with than without 
it — there can be no doubt. The demonstrative fact of a 
novice Superintendent who burned up all his restraining 
apparatus as soon as he took charge of his asylum, was fol- 
lowed by the accumulation of black eyes, broken noses, and 
other minor surgical accidents, as well as by several suicides. 
It should be remembered that Connolly, the very apostle of 
non-restraint, said: 'Without a very efficient superintend- 
ence, chiefly to be exercised by the chief medical officers, the 
mere absence of mechanical restraint may constitute no 
sufficient security against neglect, or even ill treatment of 
patients, in a large asylum. The medical officers who con- 
sider such watchful supervision not perfectly comprised in 
their duties have formed but a very inadequate conception 
of them.' " 

Again, we find in "A. System of Practical Medicine," by 
American authors, edited by William Pepper, M. D., LL. D. r 
president and professor of the theory and practice of medi- 
cine and of chemical medicine in the University of Penn- 
sylvania (edition of 1886), an article by Charles F. Folsom, 
M. D., in which the following occurs, viz. : 

"Mechanical restraint increases the cerebral hyperemia, 
and there are few homes or general hospitals where it must 
not be used, if there is excessive violence or delirium, making 
the insane asylum in those cases a necessity. Objectionable 
as it is, however, mechanical restraint is less harmful than 
the continued use of large doses of sedative drugs, as is often 
the practice in order to keep patients quiet enough to remain 
at home." 

h— 3 


Again, in " Kirkbride on Hospitals for the Insane," by 
Thomas S. Kirkbride, M. D., LL.D., physician -in-chief and 
Superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, 
at Philadelphia, late President of the Association of Medi- 
cal Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, 
honorary member of the British Medico-Psychological Asso- 
ciation, etc., we find the following : 

" And yet, without a proper force of attendants and suffi- 
cient classification, the use of mechanical means of restraint 
and the^protracted seclusion of certain classes of patients, are 
almost unavoidable. Much has been said by writers, most 
generally*by those not practically familiar with the treat- 
ment^ the insane, in regard to a ' non-restraint ' system of 
management and the treatment of all patients without 
restraint. This, it need hardly be suggested, is simply impos- 
sible. As soon as any person has lost the use of his reason, 
and has become irresponsible for his actions, just so soon is 
itf manifestly necessary that he should be under the care of 
some one ; and this care and control are, of themselves, 
restraint. What is commonly meant, is not that there is no 
restraining apparatus — no mechanical means of restraint are 
used. For most patients none of these are really required, 
but they are essential to the best interest of a very limited 
number of cases, and are more humane than having them 
controlled by the hands of attendants, whose perfect com- 
mandiof their own feelings and actions is not always to be 
trusted. The medical attendant of such a case, with a full 
knowledge of all its peculiarities, is the only proper judge 
of the propriety or impropriety of the application of these 
means of control, certainly a much better judge than any 
one who decides the question only from preconceived ideas 
and theoretical notions. 

" Physicians may differ widely in regard to the particular 
forms of mechanical restraint that may be most desirable, 
but it is safe to say that they are few in number, simple in 
form and little repulsive in appearance. In my own expe- 

ij ■ •* * * W 


rience, strong wristbands, soft leather mittens, connected linen 
sleeves, and the apparatus for confining a patient in bed, are all 
that are required; the last named, in certain conditions of a 
patient, being of the utmost value, and often unquestionably a 
means of saving life. My experience would indicate, that on 
an average not more than one or two per cent, of all the 
patients require any mechanical means of restraint ; that 
often a period of several months may pass without their being 
needed, and that any superintendent may conduct an insti- 
tution without applying them, in case he is anxious to avoid 
the criticism of pseudo-experts, and willing to let his patients 
lose the advantages that may result from their occasional 
use. At the same time, I am equally positive that a practi- 
cal familiarity with this treatment will prevent any declara- 
tions like the positive dicta often heard in regard to this 
subject in many quarters. The number who now adopt 
these ultra views in reference to mechanical means of restraint 
in any case of insanity, is obviously diminishing, and it is 
to be hoped that before a long period the belief will be uni- 
versal, that, while rarely necessary, yet, in some cases, they 
ought to be used, and that not to use them, when thus 
required, is neither professional nor does justice to the 

Thus it will be seen that Dr. Kirkbride shows and com- 
mends the great value of the apparatus for confining a patient 
in bed — the same apparatus that was so paraded and dis- 
played before you by counsel on the other side as an instru- 
ment of torture and an evidence of barbarism. Verily, one 
would have thought from the display that was made of this 
common, useful and humane apparatus, that the counsel on 
the other side had found within these walls some relic of 
the Inquisition, and presented it to the horrified gaze of the 
members of this Board. In this connection, I wish to say 
that the asylum presided over by Dr. Kirkbride is a corpor- 
ate institution, and that the most violent insane are not 
permitted to enter it; yet, he uses and approves of the kind 


of mechanical restraint practiced here. If these high and 
eminent authorities, and the fact that Dr. Grissom, after 
having openly and boldly advocated in print and by voice 
mechanical restraint, has been elevated to the highest honors 
in the gift of the Association of Superintendents and of the 
medical profession, satisfies you that mechanical restraint is 
not cruel per se, but, on the contrary, a proper and humane 
mode of treatment for the insane — as I think you must be sat- 
isfied — then it only remains to inquire whether Dr. Grissom 
has been guilty of abusing the use of mechanical restraint. 

This brings us to the consideration of the specifications 
under the head of the second charge, which relates to cruelty 
to patients. 

Before proceeding any further in the regular order of my 
remarks, permit me, gentlemen of the Board, to recur to the 
charge of immorality, and to the specification in which Dr # 
Grissom is charged with having been criminally intimate 
with Miss Nora Burch. For the purpose, I suppose, of con- 
tradicting Dr. Grissom's testimony, and that of Miss Burch's 
mother and sister, to the effect that Miss Burch suffered with 
painful menstruation, her commitment papers to the Mor- 
ganton Asylum were offered in evidence by the other side. 
In these papers it is stated that menstruation ivas regular ; and 
in this regard it will be claimed that the testimony of these 
witnesses and these papers are at variance. But there is no 
conflict — there is no variance. Fortunately, there are many 
skilled, able, and accomplished physicians on this Board; 
and there is not one of them who does not know that men- 
struation may be perfectly regular as to periods, and at the 
same time exceedingly painful on account of some abnormal 
position or condition of the uterus. The testimony is in 
harmony, and not in conflict. 

And now again in regard to mechanical restraint: 

I repeat, that under the two heads of immorality and 
cruelty, eight of the specifications are eliminated from your 
consideration, because not a scintilla of evidence was offered 


in support of them, and seven more should also be eliminated, 
because the sole and only witness to six of the seven is Ella 
N. Edwards and the only witness to the other is T. J. Harris — 
witnesses who have shown themselves to be totally un- 
worthy of belief. Of the remaining specifications the follow- 
ing ought also to be eliminated from your consideration, be- 
cause the only charge and evidence is that they were strapped 
to the bed, and not for any unusual length of time, and 
therefore, mechanical restraint, as I have abundantly shown 
you by eminent authority, not being per se cruel, no cruelty 
was practiced, viz.: Mike Cosgrove, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Wil- 
liams, Robert Barnett, Jonathan Bass, Zeb. Williams, Mr. 
Wortham and Mrs. Gaskins. The case of J. C. Hervey, the 
man who spit in Dr. Grissom's face and used most obscene, 
vulgar and loathsome language about his wife, ought also 
to be eliminated, because the only evidence against Dr. 
Grissom in this case is that he assisted the attendant in a 
violent struggle with this patient, and that iin doing so he 
put his foot on his hip for the purpose of assisting in hold- 
ing him down until he- could be secured, and that Hervey 
was not in the slightest injured. The case of John Nutt 
ought also to be eliminated, because the only evidence against 
Dr. Grissom in his case is, that when he had called Dr. Gris- 
som "a damned son of a bitch," and otherwise behaved in 
such a manner as to break up all discipline and set a bad 
example to other patients, Dr. Grissom merely pushed him 
back on the bed, not even inflicting a scratch on his person. 

It is on such trivial matters as these that you are asked to 
brand with the stigma of disgrace this respondent. And 
now, what are the cases, under the head of cruelty, about 
which any evidence has been offered — any evidence that is 
seriously worthy of your consideration? They are as fol- 
lows: W. P. Upchurch, Henry Cone, J. D. L. Smith and 
Mrs. Lowther. 

And thus, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Board, all 
this fuss, and clamor, and parade about cruelty dwindles 


clown to four cases, out of one thousand four hundred and ten 
patients treated during twenty-one years of service. After 
months, yes, years, of silent, stealthy, revengeful preparation 
on the part of the prosecutors, they come here with the pitiful 
showing of appearance — for I say it is only an appearance — 
of cruelty in four cases. Never before has this State been 
searched, from one end to the other, with such malignant 
industry for evidence, and never was result so insignificant. 
And now as to these four cases: The first is that of W. P. 
Upchurch, and it is the one upon which the prosecution mainly 
relies. The evidence in this case is that some six years ago,io-wit, 
in the yeo.r 1883, this patient, who is a desperate and danger- 
ous insane man — a man who has homicidal tendencies — a 
man who had, previous to his admission here, nearly shot to 
death an office: of the law, and had attempted to kill a mem- 
ber of his own family — a man who was sent here by the order 
of a criminal court — a man of desperate character, who, 
while in a towering rage, and endowed with demoniacal 
and superhuman strength, had wrenched from its fastening 
in his window an iron bar, and, armed with this deadly 
weapon, was raving, and cursing, and defying everybody 
and everything, and spreading terror and dismay through 
the wards. In this state of atfairs, Dr. Grissom, Mr. Thomp- 
son (the Steward), who is one of the prosecutors here to-day, 
and two or three attendants, rushed in his room upon him, 
with a mattress, and threw him upon the floor. In the life- 
and-death struggle which ensued with this powerful maniac 
the witnesses do not agree as to what Dr. Grissom did and 
said. Mr. Thompson says that Dr. Grissom stamped Up- 
church in the face, and cursed him ; Mr. Harris and Mr. 
Hogan say that he put his foot on his neck and cursed him; 
and Dr. Grissom says he merely put his foot on his body to 
help hold him down. The truth is that, in the great excite- 
ment of the moment, no one knows exactly what did take 
place. Mr. Thompson says that when he (Upchurch, got up 
his mouth was bleeding; but this was doubtless caused by 


his being violently thrown to the floor when the crowd 
rushed in upon him with the mattress. All the testimony 
shows there was no bruises upon him, and that he was not 
injured or hurt. And, furthermore, it is in evidence that 
Upchurch, while insane, had sense enough to know the object 
of restraint, and to know that he was doing wrong in defying 
all authority and spreading terror among the other patients, 
and thereby impeding their recovery. While Dr. Grissom, in 
the excitement natural to such a struggle with such a pow- 
erful and dangerous man, might have used some excessive 
force in this case, he did nothing more than what frail 
human nature is liable to do under such circumstances. 
Superintendents are human and frail, like the rest of us, and 
liable, when greatly excited, to make mistakes. Many of us 
have heard of physicians who, when angered, have perhaps 
slapped a child for biting them, etc., .or of policemen 
who sometimes, without intending it, have used excessive 
force, yet no one thought of trying to bring disgrace upon 
them for so doing. Neither does the statute under which 
we are proceeding require that a superintendent shall have 
the patience of Job or the meekness of John, or that he 
shall be removed for cruelty, where no intent to be cruel is 
shown. There is not a man on that Board but knows that 
Dr. Grissom was never intentionally cruel to anybody or 

But there is another matter connected with this Upchurch 
case, and the prosecutors in this matter, that must strike 
every man of common sense as strange and wonderful. It 
is this : Mr. Thompson and Dr. Rogers prepared a report of 
this very Upchurch case, to be read by Dr. Grissom before the 
" Association of American Superintendents of Insane Asy- 
lums," and it was read by him. When this report was pre- 
pared Dr. Rogers had not begun to plot and conspire against 
his benefactor, and Mr. Thompson had not had a fight with 
Dr. Grissom 's son. The report is as follows: 


" W. P. Upchurch : Admitted June 12th, 1878 ; male ; sin- 
gle ; farmer ; is homicidal, shot his brother and has attempted 
to kill other people. He has terrible delusions, connected 
with others, that his bones, his head, neck, etc., are crushed; 
has hallucinations of hearing — hears people talking about 
him, planning to kill him, etc. On one occasion he kicked an 
iron bar out of his windoiv- guard, and defied any one to come to 
him. Is a large, powerful man and exceedingly dangerous. 
Often wakes up and tears up his bed-clothes, clothing and 
everything within his reach. His attacks upon people are 
sudden and without warning, and, except for restraint, would 
occur at least two or three times per day." 

Remember, this report was gotten up by Dr. Rogers and 
Mr. Thompson, as an evidence of the beneficial results of 
mechanical restraint, and was so used by Dr. Grissom. Do 
you find anything in it about cruelty? Can it be possible 
that so high-toned and honorable men as the prosecutors 
are — men who are only actuated by motives of the public 
good in this prosecution — could make such a report of the 
Upchurch case as to commend his treatment to all the super- 
inlendents of insane asylums in the United States, when all 
the time they knew that the treatment of Upchurch had 
been attended with the cruelty and barbarity they would now 
have you believe it was ? Could such men be parties to such 
a fraud ? They would have you to believe that as public guar- 
dians of good morals, and as avengers of Upchurch's wrongs, 
they now stand on the watch-tower to proclaim to the world 
the wrong-doing of this respondent. I ask, if they are such 
now, what were they when the} 7 made that report — when 
they loaned themselves to such a fraud and imposition on 
the people of North Carolina ? Were the} 7 the courageous 
defenders of the unfortunate insane then, or is it only lately 
they have assumed that part? They are at liberty to take 
either horn of the dilemma, and make the most of it. 

The next case is that of Henry Cone, and the evidence in 
regard to him is that he is a powerful man and a desperate 


character, and that he had the habit of springing una- 
wares — like a Bengal tiger from his lair — on any one who 
was near ; that on one occasion, when in one of his maniacal 
fits, with countenance suffused with rage and blood, he 
jumped, like a tiger on his pre}', upon the Superintendent, 
who, for self-protection, and for the purpose of diminishing 
the flow of blood to the head and quieting him, put his 
hands on each side of his neck and pressed the carotid arte- 
ries, choking him about one minute, and afterwards threw 
water in his face ; that in ten or twelve minutes afterwards 
he was sitting on the bench in the hall, and had no bruises 
on him, and required no medical attention. He was not in 
the least hurt, and the treatment he received has greatly 
improved him, and he has now ceased to jump on people. 

The next case is that of J. D. L. Smith, a very dangerous 
criminal, sent to the asylum by order of a criminal court — so 
dangerous that there was a standing order in the institution 
that, on no account, was an attendant ever to go into his 
room alone — so dangerous that he had to be fed through a 
trap-door — a man who conceals matches in his bed for the 
purpose of setting the institution on fire — (he was sent to the 
asylum for burning a bridge across the Cape Fear River) — 
a man who tried, time and again, to commit suicide by 
biting his arm and cutting himself with piece.s of tin, etc. — 
the most mischievous patient who has ever been within the 
walls of the asylum— engaged all the time in making false 
keys, and with them unlocking doors and windows, and 
who has escaped twice. As to him, it is charged that Dr # 
Grissom, on one occasion, when greatly provoked, lost his 
temper and indulged in some profanity; and the testimony 
is, that he frequently had Smith strapped to the bed, for the 
purpose of preventing him from injuring himself or some 
other patient, and for the purpose of impressing him with 
the impropriety of his conduct. It is also in evidence that 
during these periods of strapping to the bed, he was fre- 
quently released in order that he might get his meals, attend 


to the calls of nature, and for the purpose of resting him; 
that he has sense enough to know the object for which he 
is strapped, and to know the difference between right and 
wrong, and that the treatment he has received has greatly 
improved him, and he now goes about with the other 
patients; whereas, formerly he had to be confined in the 
" strong-room " most of the time. The next, and last case, 
is that of Mrs. Lowther; and the evidence in regard to her 
is, that she was a very violent patient — frequently fighting 
other patients, and defying all rules of discipline in the insti- 
tution, and that for the purpose of controlling her and im- 
pressing her with the impropriety of her conduct, she was 
strapped on two succeeding days, but was frequently 
released, in the meanwhile, for the purpose of getting her 
meals, attending to the calls of nature, and of being rested ; 
that on the second day after she was released finally, she got up 
ate a meal, took a bath, and in about two hours afterwards died, 
from what was supposed to be heart disease. Had her death 
not occurred at the time it did, we never would have heard 
of this case in this trial, for no one would have alleged 
cruelty in her case. It will be argued to you, on the other 
side, that her death was caused by the strapping to the bed, 
3^et I defy any one to show any evidence that such was the 
case. It was just one of those sudden deaths that might 
have happened at any time, and do happen every day. There 
is not a physician on that Board who is not familiar with 
such cases. Why, I remember, not long ago, to have seen 
an article published by one of the most eminent physicians 
in the South, and an honored citizen of an adjoining State, 
in which he gave an account of how two of his patients died 
while under the influence of chloroform, administered by 
himself, and yet no one thought of charging him with cruelty, 
or preferring charges against him intended to humiliate and 
degrade him. Mrs. Lowther's death was just one of those 
sudden, unfortunate deaths, that might have, and I suppose 
has occurred, in the experience of every physician of any 


practice in this State or any other State. Mrs. Lowther died 
some five years ago, and at that time the prosecutors did not 
think strapping to the bed for two days was cruel, because at 
the same time they got up a report of the Upchurch case for 
Dr. Grissom to read at the meeting of the Superintendents; 
they also got up reports of the cases of Mrs. Mary M. Morse 
and Mrs. M. S. Brown, which are as follows, viz.: 

"M. S. Brown: Admitted May 17, 1882; forty-four years 
old; female; married; well educated; housewife; Methodist; 
in health, gentle, retiring disposition — amiable and pleasant. 
Puerperal 'insanity ; child born on March 9 ; insanity mani- 
fested on March 13 by despondency, attempts to kill her 
child and determined attempts to kill herself; also made 
attempts to kill her husband. Her suicidal tendency became 
very violent. Her whole aim and purpose seemed to be to 
kill herself in any possible way — by choking herself, dash- 
ing herself against the floor or wall, or any way she could. 
It was impossible to prevent her injuring herself some, with- 
out restraining her. Her movements w r ere so quick and sud- 
den that she would dash herself to the floor before any one 
could detain her, even though sitting beside her. She was 
restrained to the bed, night and day, except when taken up for 
necessary purposes and for rest, and remained so most of the 
time. She has been so until some two months ago; since 
then she has been released, most of the time, though an 
attendant sits with her constantly, and seldom permits her 
to go beyond her reach." 

"Mary M. Morse : Admitted December 2, 1883 ; twenty-six 
years old ; female ; married ; no children ; housewife ; Bap- 
tist; common education. In health, well disposed and 
cheerful ; good habits ; always was " nervous ; " mother was 
insane with a tendency to suicide. This is her third attack. 
At the time of her second attack she was treated at the in- 
sane asylum at Columbia, S. C. ; was discharged after some 
months, much improved ; remained improved three or four 
months, then had a relapse ; makes violent and determined 


attempts at suicide. On admission she was deeply depressed ; 
knows where she is and why brought here; answers ques- 
tions intelligently, and when she can be aroused talks pretty 
well. Her first night, on entering the dining-room at sup- 
per time, she seized a knife and attempted to kill herself. 
Her suicidal tendency became so violent that she could not 
be left alone a moment, and, even with an attendant at her 
side, she would dash herself against the wall or floor, choke 
herself, etc. Nothing has any effect in breaking her deter- 
mination. After a few days she was strapped to the bed, 
and even there she would try to bite herself, to strike her- 
self against the bed, etc. She was in restraint twelve days, 
except when up for rest, etc. Her determination seemed to 
weaken, and on the twelfth day, after promising, volunta- 
rily, that she would not attempt it again, she was released. 
For five days she kept her promise, but on the fifth day her 
resolution gave way, and she became as violently suicidal 
as ever, and was again restrained. After eight days she again 
became better, and begged to be released, promising never to 
attempt suicide again. She was released, and has constantly 
improved, and never has made another attempt at suicide. 
She is now in the convalescent ward. Since her release and 
improvement her husband died, but she showed no unnat- 
ural grief, and bore the trial with fortitude and submissive 

Now, it is evident that the prosecutors did not think, at 
that time, that restraining for more than twelve days at a time 
was cruel, else they would not have lent themselves to mak- 
ing a report for Dr. Grissom to read to the Association for 
the purpose of sustaining his article on the humanity and 
beneficial results of mechanical restraint. It is also evident 
that the " Association of American Superintendents of Insane 
Asylums " did not so regard it, else they would not have 
commended his article, as it was commended, or have after- 
wards honored him with every place of honor and trust in 
their gift, as they did. It is also inconceivable that gentle- 


men of such lofty character as the prosecutors are — gentle- 
men who are actuated alone by high and noble motives of 
public good — should, if they thought, as they say they do, 
that Mrs. Lowther was murdered through Dr. Grissom's 
cruelty, keep silent about it for five long years ; should remain 
in the employment of, and associated with, a murderer of a 
poor insane woman for five long years and never breathe a 
word of it to a member of the Board, or to a legislative com- 
mittee, or a magistrate, or • to any relative or friend of the 
murdered woman, or to any living soul. Mr. President, and 
gentlemen of the Board, what language can characterize 
such championship of the afflicted and the oppressed ? How 
can such motives of public good be sufficiently commended? 
A few more words on this subject of restraint, and I leave it. 
It is evident that when Dr. Grissom had mechanical restraint 
applied to patients many of these attendants, not under- 
standing his motive, or the purpose for which it was used, 
thought him cruel ; so they would probably think a physi- 
cian who would wrap a patient in a plaster jacket, or fit a 
leg in an apparatus that prevents any turning or bending of 
the limb, for the purpose of curing some deformity. Yet 
you, gentlemen, especially those of you who are physicians, 
know better; you also know that it is absolutely necessary to 
maintain some kind of order and discipline in the institu- 
tion if you would avoid a perfect pandemonium ; and this 
in order that the violent and incurable may not be permit- 
ted to so conduct themselves as to render worse the condition 
of the harmless and curable. To do this, some kind of 
restraint is necessary, either manual or mechanical. The 
former cannot be adopted here, because the appropriation 
for the support of the institution is not sufficient to enable 
the Superintendent to employ four or five attendants for 
every violent insane patient. That may do for some of the 
rich private asylums of the North, but not for this one. But 
leaving this out of consideration, I think I have shown you 
that mechanical restraint is preferable anyhow. When to 


use mechanical restraint, and how to use it, must, of neces- 
sity, be left to the discretion of the Superintendent. He is 
a far better judge than are discharged employees, or than 
you can be, without seeing the patient or being acquainted 
with all the surrounding circumstances. The remarkably 
low death-rate, and the large percentage of recoveries here, 
show that it has not been abused by the Superintendent. 
For, remember, that there has been only one homicide, and 
not a single suicide, during the twenty-one years of this 
Superintendent's administration. 

As to the third charge, that of misappropriation, I do not 
think it amounts to enough to detain you with a discussion 
of it. The counsel on the other side evidently think so, too, 
and have said as much in open court. We have shown you 
an order of the Board allowing Dr. Grissom to have any- 
thing from or raised on the premises, and that ends the ques- 
tion, because the turkeys and the celery, etc., were raised and 
grown on the Asylum premises. As to the $500, he admits 
that, in pursuance of an order of the Board, he has been 
bu} 7 ing provisions from the Steward, and that there is now 
a balance of $500 due by him, which he is ready, willing 
and able to pay. This indebtedness has all along been 
known to the Board, and there has never been any attempt 
at concealment of this or an} 7 other matter under this head. 
There has never been an} r evil intent, any element of a 
crime, about anything testified to under this third charge ; and 
the most that could be made out of the pie and chicken busi- 
ness would be to charge Dr. Grissom's account with half a 
dozen spring chickens and two or three pies. Hence, I say 
I will not detain you on this charge. 

It is hard to believe that Mr. Thompson and Dr. Rogers 
are actuated by motives of the public good in this prosecu- 
tion, for had they been, when they were bringing witnesses 
to testify as to the turkeys of Mrs. Lawrence feeding on asy- 
lum scraps, why did they not tell about those of Mr. West, 
the engineer? Were they silent because Mr. West sided 


with them in this prosecution ? When they were telling 
about the company Mrs. Lawrence, the Matron, sometimes 
entertained here, why did they not tell about the company 
Dr. Rogers entertained at the expense of the institution ? 
And why, O why, if their motives are good and righteous, 
did they not sooner report some of the villany they now 
complain of to some member of the Board or committee of 
the Legislature? Their conduct in this regard is incompre- 
hensible. Another thing that is peculiar in this case is that, 
of the one thousand four hundred and ten patients treated here 
by Dr. Grissom, not one can the prosecutors get to come here 
and testify as to his misconduct in any regard ; on the con- 
trary, they uniformly testify in his behalf. And again, of 
all the female attendants who are here now or have ever been 
here, with the solitary exception of "wild-cat" EllaN. Edwards, 
not one can be found to come here and testify as to the 
immorality or cruelty of this man; on the contrary, they, 
with one accord, testify as to his good behavior and gentle- 
manly conduct. Who, then, is it that does testify against 
him? It is mainly discharged male employees, into whose 
ears the poison of these prosecutors has been distilled. That 
letter of Dr. Rogers' discloses as dark and deep and damna- 
ble a plot as was ever hatched in hell ; it shows the machi- 
nations of the seducer of women and the suborner of wit- 
nesses ; and its poison has infused itself into the whole cur- 
rent of the prosecutors' testimony, and tainted and contami- 
nated it all, and rendered it unworthy of credit or belief; 
it shows that one of the prosecutors has been engaged in man- 
ufacturing testimony, and that fact once proven or admitted, 
every particle of evidence offered by the prosecution is dis- 
credited and not to be relied upon. From the beginning of 
this trial you have been threatened by the prosecutors with 
what the public would do if you dared to decide against 
them. Such threats will have no terrors for you, but you 
will decide this case according to the evidence, and without 
fear and without favor. 


Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Board, a few more 
words, and I have done. You have in your hands the 
making or the unmaking of one of North Carolina's bright- 
est and most honored sons. Born to poverty and humble 
birth, with no fortune but his talents, and no friend but his 
industry, he rushed into the ranks where wealth and talent 
and influence had arrayed themselves, and he became the 
peer of the foremost. No man in this State has had more 
blushing honors conferred upon him, or worn them more 
gracefully, than has the distinguished accused. Abandoning 
twenty years ago the bright prospects and allurements of 
public life and the pleasures and comforts of home, he has 
lived and reared his family amid the terrors and horrors of 
an insane asylum, and devoted the best years of his life to 
the alleviation of the sufferings of the unfortunate and 

The evidence adduced in this trial before you shows what 
that life has been. It shows you, among other things, that he 
has been spit upon, cursed, struck, choked, the receiver of vul- 
gar notes, and the object of indecent language in regard to 
himself and his wife ; that his kindness to the prosecutors has 
been repaid by insubordination and ingratitude; that he 
has been surrounded by secret enemies and spies, who have 
been sedulously sowing the seeds of treachery and discord r 
and seeking by every means, fair and foul, to compass his 

As a consequence and culmination of all this, he stands 
before you to-day on trial. He does not beg for mercy, but 
he demands, in the name of justice and fair play, that, on 
the tainted and manufactured evidence offered you in this 
trial by the prosecutors, you do not rob him, his wife and 
his children, of that which is more precious to him and them 
than his life — his good name and his great reputation, hon- 
orably earned by man}'' years of service in the cause of 
afflicted and sorrowing humanity. 

Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Board, I thank you 
for the patient hearing which }^ou have accorded me. 



m* i 

I B& 






— ~ ! 







Syracuse, N. Y. 
Stockton, Calif. 


3 3091 00747 5320